Determination of molybdenum, antimony and tungsten at sub μg g -1 levels in geological materials by ID-FI-ICP-MS

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    We have developed a rapid and accurate method for the determination of Mo, Sb and W in geological samples using isotope dilution inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry with a flow injection system (ID-FI-ICP-MS). The chemical procedure requires HF digestion of the sample with a Mo-Sb-W mixed spike, subsequent evaporation and dissolution of Mo, Sb and W from Mg and Ca fluorides with HF. Recovery yields of Mo, Sb and W in the extraction were > 94% for samples of peridotite, basalt and andesite composition, with the exception of W in samples of peridotite composition for which recovery was 81%. No matrix effects were observed in the determination of the isotope ratios of Mo, Sb and W in solutions prepared from peridotite, basalt and andesite samples down to a dilution factor of 100. Detection limits of Mo, Sb and W in silicate materials were at the several ng g-1 level. Analysis of the silicate reference materials PCC-1, DTS-1, BCR-1, BHVO-1, AGV-1 from the US Geological Survey and JP-1, JB-1, -2, -3, JA-1, -2, and -3 from the Geological Survey of Japan as well as the Smithsonian reference Allende powder yielded reliable Mo, Sb and W concentrations. The repeatability in the analysis of basalts and andesites was < 9%. This technique requires only 0.2 ml sample solution, and is therefore suitable for analyzing small and/or precious samples such as meteorites, mantle peridotites and their mineral separates.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)137-148
    Number of pages12
    JournalGeostandards Newsletter
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1999


    • Flow injection
    • ICP-MS
    • Isotope dilution
    • Method development
    • Mo
    • Reference materials
    • Sb
    • W

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geology
    • Geochemistry and Petrology


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